Last year I got such a deal on 6 Sarmoyus (kin to annonas, sweetsop, etc.)
Per usual, I knew nothing and planted them too close together along with an Annona and some other shade-providing plants. They are now tall, skinny crowded and have attracted the citrus leafminers that now dominate my garden...but not for long.Imidacloprid and I are doing well...but carefully and slowly.
I want to dig up the Saramuyos and re-plant them in my back garden. But where there is space for them to flex their leaves, there is also a lot of direct sunlight. Is that okay? or do they need to be in shady spots?
Answering my own questions. BTW, I think I spelled it wrong, it's something like cherimuyo.
Anyway, in my Yucatan Plant class they told me to strip off all the leaves, prune (or vice versa) . move them out of the jungle of plants in which they were buried, carefully use imidacloprid and see what happens. They are actually displaying little green shoots to cover their nakednes!
Th class is officially on Plants of the Yucatan,organized and led by J. Carlos Trejo Torres,, aka Carlos, ♫
. Used to be weekly, now is1 Sat. morning a month in that wonderful Elena Poniatowska House at the corner of 63 and 55.
Lugar: LA68 - Centro de Cultura Elena Poniatowska, calle 68 x 55, Barrio de Santiago, Centro. Hora: de 10 am a 1 pm. Cuota: general $60, estudiantes $40.
Si deseas trae alguna planta de tu jardín, o una pequeña rama, para identificarla, hablar de ella, y descubrir si acaso es una especie nativa de la región.
Carlos is a great friend, working on his Masters Degree. Group is very mixed. Lectures in Spanish , with breaks every so often for an English explanation for the likes of me.
The last hour is very informal with various plants of the type discussed that morning and a chance for questions like mine about why nothing in my forest is producing blooms or fruits.
I'm in the process of giving away plants like my gargantuan nopales. You could have your choice of any one of 3 cherimoyas, if you'd like. Let me know..
Darn! My first Saturdays are full until next year. I will try and come in January. Everything in my garden grows like mad but rarely blooms, so if you find out what the magic ingredient is, let me know. I have very little room in my garden, it's not as large as yours. Anything that needs full sun is on the roof, which is filling up.
extranjera wrote:Darn! My first Saturdays are full until next year. I will try and come in January. Everything in my garden grows like mad but rarely blooms, so if you find out what the magic ingredient is, let me know. I have very little room in my garden, it's not as large as yours. Anything that needs full sun is on the roof, which is filling up.
You'll find it can depend a lot on the plants you're growing. If they're really temperate climate (even warm temperate) they'll often still grow well in the tropics but never flower. It can be a matter of day length, or need for a low temperature for a certain length of time, or a combination of both, etc.
Most of the plants in my yard are both temperate and tropical. The bananas and gingers are doing well, the hibiscus and bougainvillea don't bloom as much as I would like. In fact, only one hibiscus had a bloom and that was just one bloom this year. I'm removing most of them. They do well in other places here so it is something specific to my garden. I think that the amount of shade is the cause, my bamboo and fish tail palms have grown a lot and are now shading more of the yard. The heliconia, definitely tropical, is in a bed next to the giant bamboo and I am starting to think that the bamboo leaves are killing it. There are fewer and fewer stalks coming up and hardly any blooms. I'm going to have to take it out soon, what's left of it, and figure out something else for that bed that can handle mostly shade.
Bougainvillea likes hot sun, both baking the leaves and baking the ground around it. There are huges numbers of different hibiscus growing in a large range of conditions. Some grow standing in water (shallow) or very wet ground. Some grow out in desert sands. Plus the whole range between those extremes. But generally they like a lot of sun, so the shade might be your problem.
Another possibility is invading tree roots (including bamboo). I have that problem in many parts of my garden. Heliconias are gross feeders, like bananas. I find the Psittacorum types are the least fussy and do well to okay in any situation. The others I find are more touchy and get out-competed easily. And they do seem to prefer more sun rather than shade.
It can be difficult finding the right balance. In the tropics you get the sun from both the north and the south, so it can be hard to find spots with the right amount of sun (or shade). The wet season saturates the ground making drainage a problem. Then the dry season comes along and dries everything out and it's hard to keep enough water up to the plants.
It's certainly been a learning curve moving here. I come from California, grew up in the south and spent my adult life in the north. Fairly temperate, and things grew easily. I thought when I moved to the tropics that things would just grow themselves. It's been a hard lesson. I am starting to have some successes after 3 years in this house but the failures are still with me.
The hibiscus I've lost are hybrids, big, pretty blooms if they bloom. A couple of them I moved to 3 or more places in the yard before they finally just died. I have one still that is growing up a stone wall and seems healthy enough but it rarely blooms.
There is a stone and concrete barrier between the bamboo roots and the heliconia area. This is a clumping, not spreading bamboo. All of its new shoots have come up in its area, none seem to be moving into the part where the heliconia was living. However, the incredible amount of leaf debris is almost a foot thick throughout that bed. I'm starting to wonder if it is discouraging growth of anything else.
Also there are some very large trees in neighboring yards that shade most of my garden in the winter. It's difficult to figure out how to deal with full sun in the summer and shade in the winter. I wish it were the other way around.
Things do grow themselves in the tropics, you just need to know which those things are. It happens a lot with people from the south (or north in your case). They come with a wealth of gardening knowledge and experience. Then they suddenly find things are dying when they should be luxuriating in the warmth and humidity, or so they thought. Some just abandon gardening altogether, and others climb up onto that steep learning curve. It's a real challenge to make that transition. There's a lot of mistakes along the way. My first (and last) lettuces got to about 2 cms tall then went to seed. Life would be too boring if it were too easy, LOL.
Yes, some things do grow almost too much :) I have some vines that are happily taking over the neighborhood. I have a butterfly pea (Clitoria ternatea) that is claiming a long, high stone wall and a Bleeding Heart Bower vine (Clerodendrum thomsoniae) that is taking over the other wall. I will probably need to cut them back this winter to keep the blooms on my side of the wall.
Are there Australian gardening forums that you recommend? I'm wondering because most of the US forums go kind of dormant in the winter and many of the plants here are at their best in the dry season which corresponds to winter in the US. Also, except for the reverse of seasons, I think that my climate is more like northern Australia from what I have read.
Those vines are considered weeds here, although not prohibited so some people do grow them.
I'm in several forums but there don't seem to be any Australian ones around that are tropical. Most of the tropicals forums are dominated by people from cooler zones and major items of discussion tend to be around cold hardiness and what date plants have to be brought inside. I do belong to a cycad forum - South African. A carnivorous plant forum - UK. Palm forum - US and Australian dominated. Plus a few other non-plant forums around the world. I really don't know how I lived before connecting up to the internet.
I'm about the same distance from the equator as Nicaragua. But being in the north west we get a longer dry season with no rain. In the north east they have a shorter dry season and even sometimes get rain during the dry season. Having irrigation means a lot more plants will grow here but sun tolerance is an issue. Many plants that will survive hot direct sun in humid conditions will not survive the same direct sun with low humidity. Here the sun spends 4 months to our south (as in the northern hemisphere), and then 8 months to our north. So the shade moves a lot.
And then there's the whole issue of tropical soils. Here they're very old, so leached out by millenia of tropical downpours. Organic matter doesn't last long in the soil. Luckily the trees drop a lot of leaves. Every time you think you've got Mother Nature worked out she throws a spanner in the works. Some of my friends think I'm crazy to keep on trying to achieve my gardening/landscaping dreams. Well, I don't think that I'm crazy, I know I'm crazy, so I don't have to worry about justifying myself, LOL.